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U.S. Goes on the Offensive Against China’s Empire-Building Megaplan

Apr 10, 2019

Last year, Myanmar renegotiated terms for a multibillion-dollar Chinese-funded deep-water port and industrial zone, shrinking the scope of the project and slashing the country’s future debt burden to its economic powerhouse neighbor.

At the time, the Myanmar government said the port did not need to be so big or require so much debt. Officials managed to hammer out a new deal with China, a country better known for making lopsided arrangements with weaker countries than for backing down in talks.

But Myanmar also had outside help: A team of U.S. economists, diplomats and lawyers had been dispatched to the country on a pilot program to scrutinize contracts, flag bad deals, and empower the country to push for better terms with Chinese agencies and companies, according to current and former U.S. government officials.



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